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The Healthcare Reform Act means that virtually everyone in healthcare – hospitals, doctors, pharma, companies, insurers – will have to transform the way they do business. And, they’re on a tight timeline!

If you are in healthcare, I realize I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know. So let’s focus on the important stuff – your people. Are they prepared for all of the changes coming? Do they understand what the end game will look like for your organization and what the outcomes need to be as a result of the changes?

Let’s be brutally honest with each other: Engaging your people in the process and the outcomes that need to be delivered is crucial. Have you spent more time focusing on the operations changes that need to take place than you have on communicating what the changes mean to the business, to individual roles, and to the organization’s culture and behaviors?  Do you know how your people feel overall about these changes? Depending on the changes being implemented, people may fear for their jobs. You need to help your people understand the direction they’re going in and the impact on their job. In fact, a recent study found that almost 50% of workers said they would be worried, nervous, or skeptical if their companies were undergoing a big change.

Because this is a wholesale system transformation, your people are going to be operating in a whole new world. The exciting part – it’s a world of possibilities that you want to open up to your people. You want to take them on the journey. If you haven’t engaged them yet, there’s no better time than the present! So let’s break this down.

To Do:

  • Put clarity around the complexity – Give them the big picture. What does your future state look like when you’ve met your objectives?
  • Clearly communicate a line of sight – Identify the priorities everyone needs to focus on to achieve those outcomes.
  • Understand the need for flexibility – An adaptive organization will experience the best outcomes; this is particularly critical for this regulatory environment where legislation is still being hammered out.
  • View this as a culture transformation – This is the new normal and it’s going to require new behaviors, belief systems, and processes.
  • Remember that “human beings work here” – The bulk of the changes you’re making impact operational processes, which ultimately impact people. Put yourselves in their shoes and be empathetic and understanding about how they’re feeling.
  • Sustain, sustain, sustain – This isn’t going to be an overnight transformation for your organization. It’s crucial that you engage people in a variety of ways over a long period of time.

Bottom line: Your business is going to be impacted by healthcare reform, but your people are core to everything that is going on. This is a broad organizational transformation and culture change. Ensure that your people understand the journey, how it’s changing, and their role in helping execute it. It really is going to take a village.


April 19, 2013


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